Jun 30, 2019
I Need a Rest – Max Oates
Series: One off
This week Pastor Max preached a sermon titled I Need a Rest focusing on Matthew 11:28-30.
 
Questions
Matthew 11.28-30
ICEBREAKER: What is your favourite place in the world? Why?
1. As John the Baptist languished in Herod’s prison [Matthew 11:2-3], he wrestled with some doubts regarding Jesus’ identity. How did Jesus address John’s concerns [11:4-6]? How do texts such as Isaiah 29:18, Isaiah 35:5, and Isaiah 61:1 relate to Jesus’ response?
2. Three times Jesus asked the question, “What did you go out to see?” regarding John the Baptist’s ministry [Matthew 11:7-9]. What was John’s role according to this text and others such as Isaiah 40:1, Malachi 3:1, and Malachi 4:5-6?
3. According to Matthew 11:11 as well as Matthew 5:19, Matthew 18:6, and Luke 9:46- 48, how does one become “great” in the kingdom of heaven and avoid being “least”?
4. Neither John nor Jesus was able to get everyone to accept them [Matthew 11:16-19]. What was both John and Jesus looking for from the people they addressed [cf. Matthew 3:2, Matthew 4:1, and Matthew 11:20]? What does this response look like?
5. Why do you think Jesus denounced the cities of Galilee and pronounced a greater degree of punishment on Judgement Day for them than some of the most wicked cities recorded in the Old Testament [Matthew 11:20- 24]? Examine Isaiah 1:1-20 and John 15:18-25 for further insights.
6. Jesus promised “rest” for those who come to Him [Matthew 11:28-29]. What does that rest look like and what are the prerequisites for experiencing it according to John 14:1-6, Hebrews 4:1-16, and Revelation 22:17?
7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?
 
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” (King David)
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  • Jun 30, 2019I Need a Rest – Max Oates
    Jun 30, 2019
    I Need a Rest – Max Oates
    Series: One off
    This week Pastor Max preached a sermon titled I Need a Rest focusing on Matthew 11:28-30.
     
    Questions
    Matthew 11.28-30
    ICEBREAKER: What is your favourite place in the world? Why?
    1. As John the Baptist languished in Herod’s prison [Matthew 11:2-3], he wrestled with some doubts regarding Jesus’ identity. How did Jesus address John’s concerns [11:4-6]? How do texts such as Isaiah 29:18, Isaiah 35:5, and Isaiah 61:1 relate to Jesus’ response?
    2. Three times Jesus asked the question, “What did you go out to see?” regarding John the Baptist’s ministry [Matthew 11:7-9]. What was John’s role according to this text and others such as Isaiah 40:1, Malachi 3:1, and Malachi 4:5-6?
    3. According to Matthew 11:11 as well as Matthew 5:19, Matthew 18:6, and Luke 9:46- 48, how does one become “great” in the kingdom of heaven and avoid being “least”?
    4. Neither John nor Jesus was able to get everyone to accept them [Matthew 11:16-19]. What was both John and Jesus looking for from the people they addressed [cf. Matthew 3:2, Matthew 4:1, and Matthew 11:20]? What does this response look like?
    5. Why do you think Jesus denounced the cities of Galilee and pronounced a greater degree of punishment on Judgement Day for them than some of the most wicked cities recorded in the Old Testament [Matthew 11:20- 24]? Examine Isaiah 1:1-20 and John 15:18-25 for further insights.
    6. Jesus promised “rest” for those who come to Him [Matthew 11:28-29]. What does that rest look like and what are the prerequisites for experiencing it according to John 14:1-6, Hebrews 4:1-16, and Revelation 22:17?
    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?
     
    “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” (King David)
  • Jun 23, 2019Our Place in God’s Commitment – Max Oates
    Jun 23, 2019
    Our Place in God’s Commitment – Max Oates
    Series: COMMITTED
    This week Pastor Max concludes the series Committed with a sermon titled Our Place in God's Commitment focusing on 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
     
    Questions
    1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
    ICEBREAKER: Who were your role models when you were younger?
    1. Leaders are expected to work hard, to provide oversight on the Lord’s behalf, and to admonish those under their care. What is expected of those being led [1 Thessalonians 5:12-13], and how are they to do this according to this text as well as 1 Corinthians 16:15-18, Philippians 2:25-30 and Hebrews 13:17?
    2. The measure of a community’s character is in its treatment of the vulnerable. How are we encouraged to serve those who are hurting among us [1 Thessalonians 5:14]? What would this look like within our church family?
    3. Revenge seems sweet, but ultimately embitters us. How are followers of Jesus to respond when wronged [1Thessalonians 5:15; Matthew 5:38-48; Romans 12:17- 19; 1 Peter 3:9]?
    4. God’s will for believers’ lives is made clear in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks are commanded as habitual practices for every believer. How do we obey these within the context of our brutal, busy and broken world?
    5. How does one quench the Spirit [1 Thessalonians 5:19]? Consider Isaiah 63:10, Acts 5:3, Acts 7:51 and Ephesians 4:30 in your response.
    6. One of the functions of the Word of God is to train believers to be discerning [1 Thessalonians 5:20-22]. How does the Word of God accomplish this according to these verses as well as Psalm 19:7-14, Philippians 4:8, and 1 John 4:1-3?
    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?
     
    “Men compare themselves with men, and readily with the worst, and flatter themselves with that comparative betterness. This is not the way to see spots, to look into the muddy streams of profane men’s lives; but look into the clear fountain of the Word, and there we may both discern and wash them; and consider the infinite holiness of God, and this will humble us to the dust.” (Robert Leighton)
  • Mar 17, 2019Community Living Part 2-Max Oates
    Mar 17, 2019
    Community Living Part 2-Max Oates
    This week Pastor Max concludes the series Community Living with a sermon entitled Community Living - Part 2 focusing on Ephesians 4:25-32
     
    Questions
    Ephesians 4:25-32
    ICEBREAKER: What is your earliest childhood memory?
    1. Why does falsehood disrupt community? What are believers to substitute for falsehood [Ephesians 4:25], and what would this look like within our faith community?
    2. How is it possible to be angry and not sin [Ephesians 4:26]? How do you reconcile this with Jesus’ actions when He cleared the temple courts [cf. John 2:13-17]? Why is this a critical lesson to learn [4:27]?
    3. What do you learn from Ephesians 4:28-29 about overcoming evil behaviours and speech? How would you use this principle to counsel someone struggling with any sin?
    4. How do we grieve the Holy Spirit [cf. Acts 2:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:19], and what does this reveal about the Spirit’s identity [Ephesians 4:30]?
    5. What does this list of misbehaviours indicate about Christians [Ephesians 4:31]? How do we specifically put these things away [cf. Colossians 3:5- 11]?
    6. What should characterize our church relationships [Ephesians 4:32]? Where do we need to grow as church family? What might result if our community acted like this?
    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

    “Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which abandons others to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one’s community back from the path of sin.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
  • Mar 10, 2019Community Living – Max Oates
    Mar 10, 2019
    Community Living – Max Oates
    This week Pastor Max begins the series Community Living with a sermon entitled Community Living - Part 1 focussing on 1 Peter 4: 8 -11
     
    Questions
    1 Peter 4: 8 - 11
    ICEBREAKER: If you were banished to a desert island, would you rather be stranded alone, or with your worst enemy? Why?
    1. In context, healthy church community life flows from a specific conviction [1 Peter 4:7]. What is that conviction, and how are we to conduct ourselves accordingly?
    2. Why is love such a priority for the Christian community [1 Peter 4:8a]? How have you experienced genuine Christian love within a church family?
    3. “Love covers a multitude of sins” [1 Peter 4:8b]. Does this mean sins should never be confronted? Explain the difference between covering sins and covering up sins.
    4. Is it possible to grumble while showing hospitality [1 Peter 4:9]? What does this reveal about human character? Under what circumstances could this occur?
    5. What are the privileges and responsibilities associated with being a “steward”, and how would one know if he/she was a “good” one [1 Peter 4:10]?
    6. What is the ultimate purpose in stewarding our spiritual gifts [1 Peter 4:11]? What is our role, and what is God’s role, in fostering healthy church community life?
    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

    “As the church, we are in community together trying to fulfill this Great Commission that Jesus left us with. As we gently press into each other, we form one united thing, His church. As we work together, sharing the space God gives us to do His work, we all become shaped a little different. We all become a little more like Him.” (Jennifer L. Lane)
  • Nov 25, 2018Waiting for a Miracle-Max Oates
    Nov 25, 2018
    Waiting for a Miracle-Max Oates
    This week Pastor Max preaches a sermon entitled Waiting for a Miracle focussing on Isaiah 8:11-17.
     
    Questions
    Isaiah 8:11-17.
     
    ICEBREAKER: Where would you like to be in life one year from today?
    1. For what reason had God become a stone of stumbling and snare to the people of Israel? (v.14) What would the outcome of that be for the nation?
    2. What does the use of the imagery of water signify in verses 6-8?
    3. What specifically do you think Isaiah was hoping in God for? (v.17) What was he waiting on God to do?
    4. How many verses from the book of Psalms can you find that speak about waiting on God? What is the outcome often associated with that? 5. Why do you think it’s sometimes necessary to wait on God? What are some reasons he may not act as quickly as we’d like?
    6. What is the most difficult thing for you about waiting on God?
    7. What are some ways we can be encouraging to others who are in a “season of waiting”?
    8. What did you find helpful or challenging about the message?
     
    "Biblically, waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be.” – John Ortberg
  • Oct 14, 2018Merciful Saviour, Sovereign Lord
    Oct 14, 2018
    Merciful Saviour, Sovereign Lord

    This week Pastor Max preaches a sermon entitled Merciful Saviour, Sovereign Lord focussing on Ephesians 2:1-10.

    Questions
    Ephesisans 2:1-10
     
    ICEBREAKER: What was the high point of your week? What made it so great?
    1. What is the “course of the world” that the ungodly follow? (v.2) What does Paul mean when he says the world follows the “prince of the power of the air”?
    2. How has God’s merciful sovereignty changed the disobedience of mankind? (vv.4-5,8-9)
    3. What is your response to God’s plan for you mentioned in vv.6-7? How does this change the way you view the future? How does this change the way you live your life now?
    4. How is the principle outlined in verse 8 highlighted in the story of Jonah?
    5. What is God’s purpose for you outlined in verse 10? What does this mean for you personally?
    6. In what areas of your life do you need to start seeking the Lord in order to conform yourself to God’s plan for your life?
    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about the message?
     

    "Greater is Your care for me than all the care I am able to take from myself.” - Thomas à Kempis

  • Oct 7, 2018The Danger of Being Divided
    Oct 7, 2018
    The Danger of Being Divided

    This week Pastor Max preaches a sermon entitled The Danger of Being Divided focussing on 1 Corinthians 10:14-22.

    Questions
    1 Corinthians 10:14-22
     
    ICEBREAKER: What is the biggest misconception people tend to have about you?
    1. What do you think best describes the true nature of idolatry?
    2. In ancient times people used to worship a physical idol - what are some modern examples of idols?
    3. According to Jesus in Matthew 6:24, is it possible to serve God and other idols in our lives? How does this tie in with James 4:1-4?
    4. Read Galatians 5:19-21. What kinds of other sins are found in the same list as “rivalries, dissensions, divisions.” How does this indicate how serious disunity is in God’s eyes?
    5. List three attitudes or behaviours that might cause division in a church. What are the godly opposites of those things? What is the biblical remedy to correct those things?
    6. What steps do you need to take to avoid causing division among the people in your own life?  How can you better practice the godly virtues you listed above?
    7. Read 1 Kings 18:21. What bearing does Elijah’s question to Israel have on your own life?
    8. What did you find helpful or challenging about the message?
     

    "Believers are never told to become one; we already are one and are expected to act like it." - Joni Tada

  • Aug 26, 2018The Evolution of Faith
    Aug 26, 2018
    The Evolution of Faith

    This week Pastor Max concludes our series The Mustard Seed Life with a sermon entitled “The Evolution of Faith”

    Questions:
    Colossians 2:6-7
     
    1. What does it mean in Colossians 2:3 that all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom are hidden in Christ?
    2. Read Mark 9:17-24. What was Jesus' response to the man? What do we need to do if we’re weak in faith?
    3. Find three other examples of people putting their faith in Jesus in the gospels.
    4. According to Hebrews 12:2 who is the one who develops our faith?
    5. Read 2 Timothy 1:12. What is the foundation of Paul’s confidence in his own walk of faith?
    6. What practical steps do you need to take to grow more in your faith?

    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about the message?

    "Faith is a sounder guide than reason. Reason can go only so far, but faith has no limits." - Blaise Pascal

  • Aug 19, 2018The Evidence of Faith
    Aug 19, 2018
    The Evidence of Faith

    This week Pastor Max continues our series The Mustard Seed Life with a sermon entitled “The Evidence of Faith”

    Questions:
    Hebrews 11:1-7
     
    1. In chapter 11 the author of Hebrews cites many examples of individuals who proved their faith by their actions. Find three more examples from the Old Testament of someone acting out their faith in God.
    2. What can you learn from the outcomes of the examples of people cited throughout this chapter? What theme is presen
    3. Read Hebrews 12:1-2. What is the desired outcome for the readers of this epistle after considering these heroes of faith?
    4. What is the significance of Abraham’s hope for a city whose designer and builder is God? (v.10)
    5. According to 1 Thessalonians 3:7 how does our faith influence others?
    6. How are we to treat other believers who are weak in faith according to Romans 14:1-4?
    7. Do you truly believe that God is a rewarder of those who seek him (Heb. 11:6)? What things do you need to seek the Lord for in your own life?
    8. What did you find helpful or challenging about the message?
     

    "Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees, and looks to God alone; Laughs at impossibilities, and cries it shall be done." - Charles Wesley

  • Aug 12, 2018The Challenge of Faith
    Aug 12, 2018
    The Challenge of Faith

    This week Pastor Max continues our series The Mustard Seed Life with a sermon entitled “The Challenge of Faith”

    Questions:
    Luke 17:1-10
     
    1. What was the context of the disciple’s request for Jesus to increase their faith?
    2. Why do you think Jesus responded to their request in the way that he did?
    3. Where is there an instance of active faith in this chapter? What was the outcome?
    4. What importance does faith have in living out your Christian life from day to day?
    5. Read Hebrews 11:1. How does this tie in with 2 Corinthians 5:7 and 1 Peter 1:8? What theme is present in all three scriptures?
    6. Read Matthew 14:25-31. How do you think you would have responded if you were in Peter’s place, and what would the outcome have been?
    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about the message?
     

    "It is not the strength of your faith but the object of your faith that actually saves you." - Tim Keller

  • Aug 5, 2018The Habit of Faith
    Aug 5, 2018
    The Habit of Faith

    This week Pastor Max begins our series The Mustard Seed Life with a sermon entitled “The Habit of Faith”

    Questions:
    Psalm 26:1-3
     
    1. What is David’s definition of faith in this passage?
    2. Find another Psalm where David writes about his faith in God.
    3. How is faith defined in Hebrew 11:1?
    4. Read Hebrews 11:6. Why do you think faith is so important to God?
    5. According to James 2:17-18 what is an essential component of faith? How is this echoed throughout Psalm 26?
    6. Considering your own walk with Lord, what areas of faith would you like to grow in during this series?

    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about the message?

    "Faith is like radar that sees through the fog - the reality of things at a distance that the human eye cannot see." - Corrie Ten Boom

  • Jul 15, 2018Refreshment in Repentance
    Jul 15, 2018
    Refreshment in Repentance
    Series: The 180

    This week Pastor Max continues our series The 180 with a sermon entitled “Refreshment in Repentance”

    Questions:
    Acts 3:17-21
     
    1. What was the occasion for Peter delivering this message?
    2. What is the requirement for God’s blessing mentioned in verse 26?
    3. Find another verse from the New Testament which states that repentance is a gift from God.
    4. Peter mentioned that all the prophets testified about Jesus (v.18). Find three prophecies from the Old Testament that foretold the works of Christ.
    5. Why do you think the Pharisees & Sadducees refused to believe the miracles they saw?
    6. What is the connection between repentance and faith?
    7. Some of Peter’s listeners had hardened hearts which hindered them from believing and repenting. What obstacle do you need to overcome to repent?
    8. What did you find helpful or challenging about the message?
     

    “Repentance is siding with God against self.” - Todd Nibert

  • Apr 22, 2018Dust and Ashes
    Apr 22, 2018
    Dust and Ashes
    Series: The 180

    This week Pastor Max continues our series The 180 with a sermon entitled “Dust and Ashes”

    Questions:
    Job 42:1-6

    Ice Breaker: What do you think the greatest invention is in your lifetime?

    1. What does it mean to “hide counsel without knowledge”? (v.3)
    2. What was it that Job repented of? (v.6)
    3. What was the foundation of Job’s humility and repentance before God?
    4. Why was God angry with Job’s friends? (v.7)
    5. What are some obstacles that hinder people from repenting?
    6. Find one illustration from the Bible for each of your answers above.
    7. What can you do in your own life to overcome these obstacles?
    8. What did you find helpful or challenging about the message?
     
    “There is no Christianity unless there is repentance first. And it is not just, “Well, I am guilty.” It is not just a conviction. It is a conviction plus a desire to turn away from those things.” - Brian Richardson
  • Nov 19, 2017More Than Enough
    Nov 19, 2017
    More Than Enough

    This week Pastor Max continues our series The Greatest Book with a sermon entitled “More Than Enough”

    Questions:
    Psalm 119:17-24
    Ice Breaker: If you had to live this week over again, would you change anything? If so, what would that be?
     
    1. From this passage, how does one avoid contempt and condemnation in life? Find 3 other passages from Psalms 119 that reiterate this.
    2. One of the verses from this passage contains a prayer we should all pray before studying the scriptures – which verse is it? Why is this so important?
    3. What is the significance of the psalmist being a “sojourner” on the earth? Where is this also emphasized in the New Testament?
    4. What does it mean to you to “meditate on God’s statutes” (v.23)? How do we apply this practically?
    5. What is one area of your life that you need to apply God’s commands more consistently?
    6. What did you find helpful or challenging about the message?
     

    "The purpose of the Bible? Salvation. God's highest passion is to get His children home. His book, the Bible, describes His plan of salvation. The purpose of the Bible is to proclaim God's plan and passion to save His children." - Max Lucado

  • Oct 1, 2017The Principles that Connect our Priorities
    Oct 1, 2017
    The Principles that Connect our Priorities

    This week Pastor Max continues our series Jesus Is Lord of ALL with a sermon entitled “The Principles that Connect our Priorities”

    Questions:
    1 Peter 2:9-12
    Ice Breaker: If your house was burning down, what three objects would you try to save?

    1. The four qualities listed in 1 Peter 2:9 were first applied to Israel as a nation – find two OT scriptures that refer to them. What is the significance that they now apply to us?
    2. What is God’s purpose in choosing us as a people for his own possession? (see v.9)
    3. What does it mean when Peter says, “once we were not a people”? (v.10)
    4. In what way are we sojourners and exiles in the world? (v.11) How ought this influence the way we live?
    5. One of the goal’s in our church’s vision is “Building” – find 3 scriptures from the NT that talk about building the kingdom of God. Which one is your favourite, and why?
    6. How important is it for you to be connected with others in the church in order to fulfill our mandate to grow, serve and reach others for Christ? What are some additional ways you could get better connected at City?

    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about the message?

    “The best Christians we have among us are only Christians in the making. They are by no means finished products.”– Anonymous